In an email sent to all SAP employees today, Claus Heinrich announced that he intends to resign from the company on 31st May, 2009 the same date when co-CEO Henning Kagermann intends to leave the company.
Heinrich's reasons for leaving are not entirely clear though he says that earlier on the year, he had discussed pursuing 'other areas of innovation' with co-founder and former CEO Hasso Plattner.
According to the company's website, "he is responsible for global human resources and labor relations, SAP internal information technology (IT), and the management of all SAP Labs worldwide" Heinrich's contract was not due for review until 2010.
Recently, the company announced a hiring freeze and it is understood this includes contractors whose contracts are not being renewed. It is also thought the company is considering shutting down its Walldorf operation in the week between Christmas and New Year, something it has never done in the past. In the US, product management has been offered a 'free' holiday for the month of December. These are people that would normally spend anything up to three out of four weeks on the road at events and with customers. Sources inside SAP say this will be a good thing as it gives everyone an opportunity to relax as the company tries to work out how best to weather the current economic downturn.
Elsewhere, the company is intensifying its efforts to introduce and develop telepresence technology as a way of helping to reduce the amount of travel the company incurs.